The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

So Far, So Good

Posted by The Futility Monster on June 22, 2009 @ 18:27

On the face: very embarrassing

On the face: very embarrassing

Barring a dramatic reversal in the second round, the feared victory of Margaret Beckett will not happen.

Rejoice! For perhaps we are going to be freed from possibly the worst candidate.

But – wait a moment… John Bercow leading the way?

I don’t particularly dislike the man, but at the same time there’s something about him that makes me feel uneasy. A little too… smooth for my liking. I like a bit of rough in my candidate.

Nevertheless, four hopefuls are gone (including Richard Shepherd, for shame), and we will now test just how this exhaustive ballot system works. Assuming everyone voted for who they wanted to is a very big mistake in this kind of voting system. It’s very unlikely that people voted for their first preference because everyone likes to think of silly reasons to vote for other candidates in order to stop X, rather than give Y a chance.

The consequence will be that some of the candidates will see their support drop, despite the sudden availability of preference votes from eliminated candidates. For instance, voters for Alan Beith or Alan Haselhurst may realise the game is up and desert him. Alternatively, voters for John Bercow may decide to “lend” their vote to another candidate in an attempt to force someone else to finish last.

Or perhaps some MPs were complacent, not voting for their real preference because they didn’t think they needed it? That might explain Margaret Beckett’s surprisingly poor showing.

And in any case, no one knows who each MPs second preference is. We barely know who their first preferences were, but no one really thought to ask those who would admit it who they’d vote for in the event their candidate didn’t make it.

Whatever, it’s a horrible system – too much room for strategies and tactics rather than just straightforward votes for who the MP actually wants. Would be much better to do it all in one vote with instant run-off. The Alternative Vote, in other words.

But now, we return to the waiting…

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